Event Review

May Review: SpartanNash and Plaster Creek

The May membership meeting at Calvin College featured a presentation on sustainability efforts at SpartanNash and an introduction to water quality issues in Plaster Creek.

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SpartanNash is a food distributor and grocery retailer headquartered in the Grand Rapids area.  It is also the largest distributor of military commissaries in the United States.  Speakers were Meredith Gremel, VP, Corporate Affairs & Communications and Executive Director of the SpartanNash Foundation, Alison Sutter, Manager of Corporate Responsibility for SpartanNash

Some highlights:

  • The company takes pride in it energy efficiency programs, using low emitting light bulbs in store overhead lights as well as refrigeration lighting. It recently converted all 22 fuel centers to LED lighting, spending seven million and turning over 16 million in savings.
  • SpartanNash prioritizes corporate culture under the assumption that working well with your workplace associates translates to providing exceptional services to communities, vendors and supplies, and most importantly, valued customers.

Presentation here (PDF, 25MB)

Gail Heffner, Director of Community Engagement for Calvin College, spoke about the Plastic Creek Stewards and detailed the poor condition of the 26-mile long tributary of the Grand River, a significant watershed in the Grand Rapids area.  It affects over 100 schools, nearly 200 churches and faith communities, and more than 50% of Calvin’s faculty and staff.   The program focuses on education and outreach; working mostly with elementary schools, research done at the college, and implementing active change through restoration, using low impact development such as rain gardens throughout the city.

A copy of her presentation can be found here.